First permanent US military base on the territory of Israel

According to the Newspaper website "The Jerusalem Post", a permament U.S. military base was officially opened on the territoty of Israel, Monday September 18, 2017. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s said that the U.S.-Israel alliance has “never been stronger,” the two countries recently made history by opening of the first permanent American military base on Israeli soil.

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Colonel Liran Cohen, head of the IDF’s air defense school, left, and Colonel David Shank, of the US 10th Army Air & Missile Defense Command, cut the ribbon to open the first American military base in Israel, inside the Mashabim Air Base, on September 18, 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

The new military base, which is located inside the headquarters of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) Air Defense School in southern Israel, will host several dozen American soldiers and will have all the facilities necessary for a permanent presence.

The American soldiers will only operates U.S. military equipment. The new base will improve the air defense capacities of the Israel armed forces. Two years in the making, the facility will provide a space for the IAF and American task force to improve detection, interception, and deployment in aerial defense, while strengthening cooperation.

In February 2016, thousands of Israeli and American soldiers participated to a five-day combined military exercise between Israel and the United States under the code name of "Jupiter Cobra". It is considered to be the largest IDF-U.S cooperation.

During the official opening ceremony, General Zvika Haimovich, the commander of Israel’s aerial defense said, “It’s a message that says Israel is better prepared. It’s a message that says Israel is improving the response to threats,”.

In his speech, Maj. Gen. John Gronski, deputy commander of US Army National Guard in Europe, said the base “symbolizes the strong bond that exists between the United States and Israel.”